Slowing down, being mindful, feeling confident in our decisions—sounds ideal, right? When it comes to buying clothing, these are easier said than done. Buyer’s remorse is a universal enough experience to earn its own name, after all.
Enter, my shopping questionnaire.
These little inquiries are what I’ve cooked up to help me consider what I’m purchasing—whether it's a pair of shoes or a jacket or a dress. Every object has a life cycle, and buying something means that, in a way, we live with it. Once we take something in and it becomes ‘ours’—what happens next?
Where will it go?
QUESTION NO. 1: Can I wear it three ways or to three different occasions?
Will you use this item, which took someone valuable time and resources to make, or will it sit in my closet, passed over for other pieces?
A top that can be worn to a picnic or a party, as well as a professional event, will stay in rotation. A coat that can carry you through multiple seasons will get the use and enjoyment it deserves. The virtue of versatility is that one item can do the job of many. I’ve found that I don’t miss hyper-specific pieces as much as I thought I would, and I do enjoy having a more minimal closet.
QUESTION NO. 2: Does it go with what I already own?
Does it require more purchases, or does it fit with what you have?
If you don't have a pair of pants to go with that blouse, you're either signing up for a chain reaction of consumption or taking on a piece that is unlikely to ever be worn. This is a quick but helpful opportunity to mentally scan one's closet. Remembering what you own when making a purchase allows you to make decisions rooted in reality.
QUESTION NO. 3: Do I want to wear it right now?
Is it for your actual life, right now, or an invented future?
Again, reality. Is this for something you often do or some holiday party that doesn’t yet exist? Is this something you'd wear today, or would some missing element have to be filled in to allow you to enjoy it? We can't always predict the future, but this prompt offers a chance to check in. What do we do and what do we find comfortable, practical, and enjoyable to wear while doing it?
This exercise is not about perfection or getting it right every time. It's about allowing the space to observe, process, and cultivate more conscious habits. For me, these questions opened up a more personal, less intimidating approach to shopping sustainably. When sharing this approach with my kids, I've seen its power to cut through the peer pressure and comparison that can easily take over in their younger years.
I've also found that making more careful choices has also led to more genuine delight—that sweet, giddy feeling of "I cannot wait to put this on" is one I want to be fully present for.
And in that inevitable way that everything is connected, this framework influences what I make in the Pirtti studio. Are the things I’m creating versatile, useful, and a joy to live with?
Stay tuned for part two.